We measured the proton conductivity of bulk graphite oxide (GO′), a graphene oxide/proton hybrid (GO-H), and a graphene oxide (GO) nanosheet for the first time. GO is a well-known electronic insulator, but for proton conduction we observed the reverse trend, as it exhibited superionic conductivity. The hydrophilic sites present in GO as −O–, −OH, and −COOH functional groups attract the protons, which propagate through hydrogen-bonding networks along the adsorbed water film. The proton conductivities of GO′ and GO-H at 100% humidity were 10–4 and 10–5 S cm–1, respectively, whereas that for GO was amazingly high, nearly 10–2 S cm–1. This finding indicates the possibility of GO-based perfect two-dimensional proton-conductive materials for applications in fuel cells, sensors, and so on.
“Developing a 3D printable material that contains a graphene base would be beneficial for a number of industries because of the materials incredible properties. Aside from being the first two-dimensional crystal ever discovered, graphene is also the thinnest and lightest object ever found. In addition, the material is harder than diamond and about 300 times stronger than steel. Graphene’s other interesting properties include the fact that it conducts electricity better than copper, it’s transparent and can take on any shape one can imagine.”
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